All About Playa del Carmen With Kids: Important Information You Need To Know

A family of four stands smiling in front of a on-site lagood at Hotel Xcaret.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Nappo

There’s some important information you need to know before visiting Playa Del Carmen with kids. From the local currency to health information, the official language, and even babysitting services, it’s important to do proper research on your vacation destination before booking your trip. Finding all the information in one place can be difficult, though, which is why we’ve compiled a list of things to know before visiting Playa Del Carmen, including important information for you to reference. Plus, stay tuned until the end, since we also include things to do in Playa Del Carmen with kids, the best restaurant in Playa Del Carmen for families, and the best resorts in Playa Del Carmen. Keep reading for all about visiting Playa Del Carmen as a family!

At a Glance

Two kids sit on poolside chairs, laughing at The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen.
Photo Courtesy: Amy Brackett

Need to know all about Playa Del Carmen?  From currency to time, official language, and visa information, here are some basic facts you should know about Playa Del Carmen.

Local Currency & Time

Wondering about the Playa Del Carmen local currency? The official currency in Playa Del Carmen is the Mexican Peso, although US dollars and credit cards are still widely accepted. You should try to use pesos, as you will receive the current exchange rate versus the proprietor’s rate. In case you need help figuring out how much money to bring with you, use this handy currency converter. Most hotels will change the currency at either the front desk or designated exchange booth. Once outside the hotels, you will see many “casas de cambio,” which translates to “money exchange houses.”

You may want to exchange some before arrival, as the bank exchange rate is typically the highest. Also, the best way to avoid credit or bank card fraud is to avoid using them. If you must use an ATM, go to one within a bank rather than using a random one on the street or in your hotel.

Playa del Carmen operates in Eastern Time all year long, which means the islands share the same time zone with New York from November through April. Click here to see the current time in Playa del Carmen.

Official Language & Visa Information

Spanish is the official language spoken in Playa del Carmen. English is frequently spoken as well, and sometimes Mayan. If you’re planning an extended trip to Playa del Carmen or have a non-U.S. passport, you may also need to research obtaining a VISA before your visit. To learn more about Playa del Carmen’s VISA policy, click here.

Power/Standard Voltage

In Playa del Carmen, the standard voltage is 127 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.  There are two associated plug types: A and B. Plug type A is the plug that has two flat parallel pins, and type B has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin.  You can typically use the same equipment if the standard voltage in your country is between 110-127 V (as in the U.S., Canada, and most South American countries).

Local Weather

Knowing about the Playa del Carmen climate will be helpful before you depart.  Playa del Carmen, the most popular resort of the Riviera Maya, has a tropical climate, with year-round hot temperatures averaging highs around 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and lows around 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). There is a relatively cool, dry season from November to February, and a hot, muggy, and rainy season from June to October. From March to May, before the rainy season, the heat gradually increases.

In the period from June to November, and especially from August to October, Playa del Carmen, like the rest of the Caribbean area, can be affected by hurricanes—the tropical cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean, which rarely affect a given place but are dangerous because they can bring strong winds and heavy rains. Check the current forecast on Accuweather.  If you need more help planning your Playa del Carmen vacation with kids, feel free to check out the Playa del Carmen page on the Visit Mexico website, Everything Playa Del Carmen, or this Playa del Carmen tourism website, for more information.

Health Information

Two kids looking at far from Nohoch Mul Playa del Carmen.
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Zanes

Having the right information about health and safety is an important part of visiting Playa del Carmen with kids. If your children have allergies, might need medical attention, etc., be sure to keep this important information in mind.

Vaccinations, Health Tips, & Hospitals

Visiting Playa del Carmen with young ones? Remember to check your child has all the correct shots and vaccines.  For a complete list of the recommended vaccines and more health information on visiting Playa del Carmen, including COVID-19 warnings and regulations, visit the official CDC website. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so you should also check out hospitals near your vacation destination just in case.  Three accessible hospitals in or near Playa del Carmen are Hospiten Hospital, CostaMed, and Amerimed (formerly Hospital San Carlos).

COVID-19 Guidelines & Vaccination Information

If you’re planning a trip to Playa del Carmen soon, you’re probably wondering about the island’s COVID-19 guidelines. As of March 21, 2021, the Mexico Embassy has restricted non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational. The restrictions are in place until at least October 21, 2021. The U.S. Department of State suggests reconsidering travel to Mexico due to COVID-19 and the increased risk of crime and kidnapping in some areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19. Please check the Embassy website to keep up-to-date on Mexico’s stay-at-home orders. We suggest making sure you’re fully vaccinated before traveling to Playa del Carmen with kids. For vaccination information, click here.

Playa del Carmen for Kids

A dad and daughter hold hands as their hammock ziplines are about to take off at Xplor Park.
Photo Courtesy: Rebecca Giguere

Visiting Playa del Carmen with kids brings its own set of challenges. Keep reading for comprehensive information on babysitting services, baby gear rentals, etc.

Babysitting Services & Baby Gear Rentals

Looking for a romantic evening alone in Playa del Carmen? Luckily, you’ll find plenty of babysitting services throughout the city. We suggest Playa Kids, Sitters of the Caribbean, or Little Bear Care. If you’ve left your baby gear at home, don’t worry! There are plenty of places to find baby gear in Playa del Carmen. Take a look at Baby Gear for Rent or try BabyQuip.

Transportation

Two kids in bike taxi in Nohoch Mul Playa del Carmen, driven by a local man.
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Zanes

Transportation is another thing to consider when vacationing in Playa del Carmen with kids. Whether you need information about car seats or local airlines, you’ve come to the right place.

Car Seat Laws, Transportation Services, & Local Airlines

If you plan to ride in a car, there are no mandatory laws for the use of child car seats in Mexico. However, if you plan to ride in a car with a child under the age of 5, you should always use a car seat for safety. We recommend bringing your own or calling the transfer company ahead of time. Other things to know about driving in Playa del Carmen: roads are well marked and generally have little traffic, there are two main toll roads (one of which connects Playa del Carmen to the 180) and tolls must be paid in pesos, there are police checkpoints throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, most streets are one way, and speed bumps are everywhere—especially in Playa del Carmen!

To get around Playa del Carmen, take a taxicab or rental car. There are many rental agencies to choose from both at the airport and in Playa del Carmen. Most people just let their credit card companies cover their rental, however, in Mexico, you must have Mexican liability coverage by law. Therefore, even if you have some coverage, it is best to at least factor in getting Mexican liability insurance on your car rental. You should also decide on your taxi fare before you embark on your journey with your driver.

Colectivos are mini-vans that run along the main highway and are usually standing room only. ADO is the local bus system. For more information on Playa del Carmen transportation, visit Everything Playa del Carmen or PlayaDelCarmen.com. You will likely be flying to one of two airports near Playa Del Carmen: Cozumel Airport or Cancun Airport. Need to make use of local airlines during your trip? Some local airlines in Mexico for domestic travel include Aeromexico, Interjet Airlines, and VivaAerobus.

Emergency Services

A dad and his daughter stand together on a beach in Akumal.
Photo Courtesy: Rebecca Giguere

In case of an emergency, keep these numbers handy during your trip to Playa del Carmen with kids, as this is very important information.

Police, Fire Department, Ambulance

Need police assistance in Playa del Carmen? Call 911. In case of a fire in Playa del Carmen, you can also contact the fire department by calling 911. You can also call 911 to reach an ambulance in Playa del Carmen. Important note: the emergency number used to be 066, but changed to 911 in 20217. For a full list of emergency numbers in Playa del Carmen, click here.

Safety Issues

If you’re visiting with your kids, you’re probably wondering: is Playa del Carmen safe for families? Overall, Playa del Carmen is a relatively safe place to visit. However, exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Additionally, COVID-19 numbers are still high in Mexico and many travelers test positive every day, including vaccinated travelers. Carefully consider carrying travel insurance to Mexico. You can review the current U.S. Department Mexico Travel Advisory here

Other Things to Know Before Visiting Playa del Carmen with Kids

Two kids sit on swings, at a juice bar on-site at Fairmont Mayakoba.
Photo Courtesy: Carrie Fiore Andrews

Searching for more tips on visiting Playa del Carmen with kids? Between tipping customs, important holidays, and other safety issues, there are still a few things left you should know. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Best Restaurants In Playa Del Carmen With Kids (Or Without!)

Tipping Customs

Tipping customs in Playa del Carmen may differ from the United States or elsewhere in the world. Some restaurants add a service charge (propina) which is around 10%. You do not need to tip more if this is added to your bill. At a bar in Mexico, tip between 10 and 20 pesos per drink. If you run a tab, you can tip around 15% at the end. Normally, you do not tip taxi drivers, though if you have bags that the driver helps with, it is good to tip 5 pesos or more depending on how many bags and how difficult they are.

If you are staying at a hotel, it is good practice to leave a tip of 20-50 pesos per day for housekeeping (especially if you are in a tourist area like Playa del Carmen), 20 pesos for a bellhop, and a tip at your discretion for wait staff at all-inclusive hotels. Also, tipping at grocery stores in Mexico is common! If you have a couple of bags, you can give 5 pesos, and if you have done a lot of shopping then you can give 10 or 20 pesos. Final note: if you have a business in Mexico, or some other form of household help, there is a labor law at the end of the year called “aguinaldo,” similar to a year-end bonus. It is required on or before December 20th and must be presented in cash. For more information on tipping in Playa del Carmen, click here.

Important Holidays

If you’re still searching for specific dates to visit Playa del Carmen, you may want to determine whether your vacation will fall on a public holiday.  This can greatly diminish the number of attractions or points of interest you see, so it’s important information to know about visiting Playa del Carmen.  Check out this guide to public holidays in Mexico for more information. 

Things to Do in Playa del Carmen with Kids

Left Image: A young girl stands with a performer in leopard print at Xcaret Eco Park. Right Image: A young girl stands with two performers at Xcaret Eco Park.
Photo Courtesy: Rebecca Giguere

Once you’ve read our Playa del Carmen important information, it’s time to start planning your itinerary and looking up what to do in Playa del Carmen as a family. Spend your vacation lounging lazily by a cenote or descending into an underground cave at the Rio Secreto. For starters, explore Xcaret Eco Park, Xel-Há Park, or Xplor Park. If you are looking for exciting day trips, don’t miss traveling to Cozumel, known for its fabulous snorkeling and diving, Akumal, Cenote Cristalino, La Ruta de los Cenotes, Cobá, Laguna Kaan Luum, or the historical city of Tulúm. Whether you have daredevil children ready to soar over the landscape or animal lovers who’d prefer to watch from an Atlantis Submarine, Playa del Carmen truly has it all.

RELATED ARTICLE: Things to Do in Playa del Carmen That Kids Will Love

Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen with Kids

Inside the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, featuring several seated areas, a pool, and a glimpse at the ocean access.
Photo Courtesy: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

Looking for the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen with kids? Find the perfect stay for your family from all-inclusive options like Grand Velas Riviera Maya, offering a kids’ club and on-site spa. Or, Hotel Xcaret Mexico, which includes full access to all Xcaret parks. Other all-inclusive resorts include Fairmont Mayakoba, Iberostar Selection Paraiso Maya, or The Five Beaches Hotel & Residences.

Are all-inclusive resorts not your style? Consider Rosewood Mayakoba, where kids can join the Rosewood Explorers program! Or, check out Generations Riviera Maya and Banyan Tree Mayakoba. If you are looking for something more budget-friendly in Playa del Carmen, definitely take a look at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen or Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya.

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Best Family Resorts in Playa del Carmen (Including All-Inclusives)

Book Playa del Carmen Top Tours & Activities:

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles.

Families Love Travel is not liable for any injuries and/or damages to persons or property occurring as a result of your vacations influenced by the suggestions on this website. We are not responsible for any information given on this website, such as recommendations for babysitting services, car rentals, or accommodations. All content provided is for informational and review purposes only. The information we provide is meant to make it easier for families to travel together and nothing more. Try the suggestions at your own risk. 

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.